NEW YORK—PEN is gravely concerned by reports that journalist Damián Pachter has been the target of intimidation by the Argentine government, forcing him to flee to Israel. Mr. Pachter broke the recent story of the suspicious death of a prosecutor investigating the high-profile case of a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. He stated that he was subsequently followed by an intelligence officer, and that the official Twitter account of the presidential palace had posted details of his airline ticket out of Argentina. If confirmed, Pachter’s reports constitute direct and public menacing acts designed to intimidate not just him, but all journalists covering this important story.

“In a democracy like Argentina, it is shocking to hear reports that journalists are being subjected to police-state intimidation tactics,” said Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN American Center. “In any open society, it is essential that journalists be able to do their jobs without fear of retribution. For a government official to defend the state’s action in publicizing the whereabouts of a journalist at risk is Kafkaesque. The Argentine government should immediately apologize for its publication of Mr. Pachter’s private information, and pledge its commitment to do nothing that would interfere with the rights of the press to carry out their vital work.”

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Founded in 1922, PEN American Center is an association of 3,900 U.S. writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide.

CONTACT:
Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director: snossel@pen.org, 212.334.1660 x 4811
Sarah Edkins, Communications Manager: sedkins@pen.org, 212.334.1660 x 4830